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Feminism, Animals and Science

The Naming of the Shrew

By (author) Lynda Birke
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Open University Press, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Published: 1st Jan 1994
Dimensions: w 152mm h 229mm
Weight: 300g
ISBN-10: 0335191975
ISBN-13: 9780335191970
Barcode No: 9780335191970
Beginning with some ways in which "animals" are defined by science, and with feminist concerns about non-humans as fellow sufferers, this text examines how ideas about animals are constructed in different areas of biological science and how these intersect with feminist critiques of modern science. The book then addresses the human/animal opposition implicit in much feminist theorizing, arguing that the opposition helps to maintain the essentialism that feminists have so often criticized. The final chapter brings us back from ideas of what "the animal" is to ask how these questions might relate to environmental politics, including ecofeminism and animal rights.

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"...interesting and accessible...The strength of the book is in the way the subtle points accumulate to show how ideology shapesperceptions of animals and how scientific research then reinforces ideology - e.g. in its paradigm shifts of describing primates in groups...The value of an approach which focuses on the social and cultural constructions of animals is that it generates a wider range of questionsand an alternative perspective to help scientists confront the real dilemmas they experience in their work, rather than avoiding them...This book makes a useful and unusual addition to the growing body of feminist critiques of different disciplines. It should provoke debate and stimulate philosophical analysis about the nature of different kinds of species of animals, as well as the relationship between human and animal species and about what needs to change." - Science and Engineering Ethics "...readable and comprehensive introduction." - Environmental Politics "This willbe an extremely interesting and valuable book. Birke is right that there has been no general analysis of the position of animals in feminist science studies. Birke is just the right person to do it with her training in biology and her long-time work in feminist science studies."- Sandra Harding